Tigers earn their stripes!

The world of management is very familiar with the phrase ‘turf battle.’ Indeed, many a management executive has earned her or his stripes by triumphing in the battlefield, much like the gladiators of ancient Rome. Turf battles, though, are mostly detrimental to corporate health. A group of young female tigers in Central India’s Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) learned this management lesson the hard way.

January 26th is celebrated every year in India as the day when the principles of democracy were enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Democracy gives us the freedom to choose the way we live. Intelligent people use the freedom wisely. Others give into their base instincts and follow the rule of the jungle in a quest to guard their turf and earn their stripes – in life and particularly, the corporate world.

Rather fittingly, on the night of January 26th of this year, Discovery Channel aired a documentary called ‘Tiger Sisters of Telia.’  Beautifully filmed and narrated, the documentary is a delight to watch, holding the viewer’s attention right through as the story of 4 young, female tiger siblings unfolds.

Image kind courtesy: Uday Sinh Wala of Kosmic Global Media - producers of 'The Girl Gang of Telia'
Image kind courtesy: Uday Sinh Wala of Kosmic Global Media – producers of ‘The Girl Gang of Telia’

Mona, Geeta, Lara and Sonam have a wonderful life on the shores of Telia lake as cubs. But when they are faced with having to hunt on their own, the 4 tigers are forced to grow up quickly. From the start, it is an unequal battle as each of the siblings has been endowed with different personalities. Naturally, the most aggressive and ferocious of the siblings – Sonam – wastes no time and soon establishes Telia lake as her turf by driving her other siblings out of the area.

Driven apart, and now alone, the 4 siblings try and make their way in life. Each tries to fend for herself by stalking prey. Each sibling fails. Hungry and desperate, Mona, Geeta and Lara make their way back home to Telia lake in spite of the danger of wandering back into Sonam’s turf. Back in Telia, they find that Sonam has fared no better and is equally desperate for a kill to ward off hunger and death. The 4 sisters then unite and begin hunting in a pack. And finally succeed!

Whew! What a story! I spoke to Uday Sinh Wala who assured me that the ‘Tiger Sisters of Telia’ is a true story. The documentary blew me away because it’s a celluloid delight with each aspect of film making from the camera work and music to the voice over and editing working in perfect harmony. But the film left me haunted because one thought kept resounding in my brain.

If tigers can earn their stripes by overturning the law of the jungle, what’s stopping the supposedly most intelligent species on this planet?

Images kind courtesy: Uday Sinh Wala of Kosmic Global Media – producers of ‘The Girl Gang of Telia’

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